Research scientist, focusing on economic field experiments and Silicon Valley policy
Long read on how laughter makes us human. in tribal societies, women make fun of men as a form of egalitarianism. puts the Marvelous Mrs Maisel into perspective https://aeon.co/essays/does-laughter-hold-the-key-to-human-consciousness?utm_medium=feed&utm_source=atom-feed
RT @ScottElliotG: (1) A short thread on the connection between tax policy and the upcoming Jewish holiday of Purim:
If you care about high-quality data about the economy, please take a moment to sign this letter supporting funding for the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Letters like this actually make a difference. #measurementmatters @BLS_gov https://twitter.com/copafsk/status/1108449940731322368
love this from @NateSilver538 on facebook. I think it reflects why they get hammered by the press: FB inadvertently gives voice to people who editors systematically shunned. Many critics want FB to be more like left-leaning editors, and that provokes regulation from GOP lawmakers https://twitter.com/natesilver538/status/1108001116984360962
This self-blinding technique is pretty cool. Ive done a lot of self-experiments and dont think ive ever done something like this. That it can be done with psychedelics is awesome. But, i think it’d require a few weeks of non-blinded baselining https://twitter.com/maps/status/1108458441817972742
3. tech folks like to treat inventions like surprise birthday parties: big unveils with lots of hype. Theyre fun (really). But, Im hopeful that bringing the public in on the process of science will be just as exciting as a splashy launch.
3. tech folks like to treat innventions like surprise birthday parties: big unveils with lots of hype. Theyre fun (really). But, Im hopeful that bringing the public in on the process of science will be just as exciting as a splashy launch.
2. Just speaking personally for my economic pilots, ive tried to do as much work as possible on open google documents. Ive been advised that this could result in unwanted backlash from critics. Many folks worry about describing research results live. But, it makes me feel safer
Watching the Theranos documentary on HBO makes me rethink why we accept so much secrecy from tech companies. I think innovators are going to have to start figuring out how to produce things with public oversight and without NDAs
I think this experiment in sortition (election by lottery) is one of the most fascinating tests in modern politics. I think sortition has the potential to solve a lot of problems. Imagine needing to educate everyone as though they would, at one time, be a congressperson https://twitter.com/participatory/status/1108133644168818688
awesome jobs of the future alert: psychedelic drug development at a public benefit corporation. This job posting makes me wish i learned more chemistry in school https://twitter.com/maps/status/1108103717172072448
I love using @Asana... but there's one feature I'm dying for: the ability to quickly record voice memos for Task descriptions within Asana itself (saving lots of typing). I would use this 5+ times per day when assigning tasks. Would anyone else use this? cc @rosenstein @moskov
 
yes! ive been using a bit of a hack (siri shortcuts + personal assistant) for something similar, but id love the ability to dictate to asana like i would a personal assistant
The @WhiteHouseCEA is talking with journalists and other experts on twitter about its new report on jobs and tech. one of the most thoughtful discussions on social media ive seen—from the white house! (cc @jack @guy_levin @mattLira45 ) https://twitter.com/whitehousecea/status/1108057684983627782
huh, @AndrewYangVFA may have discovered that theres a latent demographic of voters that is passionate about science & data-driven policy. I see folks like @NateSilver538 and economists enthusiastic about his platform. And his “math” hat just sold out. This is so so fascinating https://twitter.com/andrewyangvfa/status/1108024089040613377
4. I think the hard question is this: do you think engineers are in a better position to protect free speech platforms than politically motivated and highly partisan regulators? Before answering, imagine the person appointing the regulators is your least favorite politician
3. theyre lots of friends in Facebook & Twitter’s orbit that want Trump & the alt-right banned, but @jack and others rightly know that this could result in government take over of their platforms. The result wouldnt be neutrality, but social media rules that change each election
2. Look at the 2020 presidential debates: the democrats have disinvited Fox News, maybe the only conservative outlet. If parties cant agree on neutral or agreed-upon standards, facebook certainly cant. And any regulating body would just bend laws to benefit the ruling party
Hyper partisanship puts Facebook in a difficult position: its nearly impossible for them to be politically neutral when folks from different ideologies cant even agree on how they should speak to one another. Its unclear how they can possibly be neutral https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/1108028566791471104
A video of a flying drone art show at Burning Man last year. I stumbled upon it one night and was surrounded by people mesmerized. Its an extraordinary feet of engineering and soooo pretty https://vimeo.com/316556330?ref=fb-share&1
3. Colleges have strongly resisted adding vocational elements. Theres only a few states where law apprenticeships are permitted. Law schools fought to ban paid externships. College lobbyists have successful stopped funding tied to graduate labor market outcomes
2. The big reason why vocational ed reform has failed is because it forces teenagers to give up on their aspirations. Top professions pick from top colleges. You cant tell the parents of a B student their kid probably wont be a doctor and should start taking shop classes
1. as federal higher ed reform heats up, ive seen a few proposals to increase vocational school (instead of college) Heres a history of how america has tried to increase vocational schooling for over a century and mostly failed https://www.brookings.edu/blog/brown-center-chalkboard/2018/05/23/how-history-explains-americas-struggle-to-revive-appre nticeships/
I think this is another example of how powerless facebook is. They put resources into aggregating and promoting local news, but the company found that a sizable percent of americans live in local news ‘deserts’ https://twitter.com/keachhagey/status/1107595913676181504
@AndrewYangVFA is one of the best things to happen to the Democratic party. He’s field testing risky issues (like UBI) that establishment candidates cant. The party will be able to adopt ones that he’s proven are popular. Denying him a spot at the debates would be a big mistake https://twitter.com/andrewyangvfa/status/1107041707806191616
The DNC has an interest in giving @AndrewYangVFA a platform because he’s showing how unorthodox issues can spark viral popularity. Establishment candidates cant take the chances he does with some issues (like UBI) but will now be able to adopt some thanks to Yangs initiative https://twitter.com/andrewyangvfa/status/1107041707806191616
7. Unless voters can take time to learn about complex economic and scientific issues, and then talk about it one another, the rise of partisanship and demand for unrealitic laws will continue. The conditions for a republic have been broken and theyre not coming back
6. So, i think the answer is to pay the masses like we currently pay lawmakers: pay them to learn about and write laws. Citizenship would be a paid part-time job. Ive conducted experiments showing that paying people produces knowledgeble citizens https://medium.com/@ferenstein/its-possible-to-fix-the-problems-of-partisanship-and-fake-news-here-s-an-educational-approach-f33f2b3542a8
5. Republics pay professionals (lawmakers, bureaucrats). But, that system worked when economics was simply enough for people to understand how they wanted representation. e.g. Brexit: the people passed an impossible law because they dont understand global markets
4. Now, no populist direct democracy has ever really existed. Athens was elite controlled. So, i think humans are venturing into entirely new territory as the internet give the masses unprecedented influence over government. the political class isnt coming back
3. I see critics demand twitter and facebook try to solve things like fake news and partisanship. They cant. Influence is decentralized. No CEO or media editor can substantially change what people believe or say anymore. That power only exists in republics
2. the power and stability of republic institutions—parties, establishment media, congress—are declining. Power is becoming more direct and decentralized. Blamming congress or cable news is counterproductive because theyre losing influence, as states, blogs and flash mobs rise
1. Id love Twitter reaction on my next book idea, tentative titled “After the Republic: How Paid Citizenship Can Save Democracy In The New Era Of Populism”. It argues America’s republican democracy (elite representation) is declining, replaced by hyper direct democracy
Excellent thread showing just how powerless I think tech companies feel around tricky free speech issues—from a former FB security person. Even if facebook could stop videos spreading, how does it make moral decisions in a matter of hours? could any institution? https://twitter.com/alexstamos/status/1106650393902104578
I was really excited to see @ewarren take on housing, but her bill is disappointing. Public housing, ownership and rental control will discourage supply, which hurts middle income ability to afford cities with good jobs. the USA cannot nationalize a multi-trillion $ market. https://twitter.com/hamandcheese/status/1106654466814676993
:0 ... this is an official GOP account peddling anti-vaxx protectionism and blamming the spread of disease on immigrants. This is not some conspiracy theory website. its the republican party of a state. I do not easily shock but this is...wow https://twitter.com/mainegop/status/1106306495774363649
1. ive been running a job training pilot for a few months and ive come to believe that we’ve wrongly categorized jobs as “low skill” and “high skill”. All jobs are both. For instance, data science jobs that use basic excel commands are low skill, but advanced commands are high
Google has a tool called search topics that lets you compare candidates in a way lumps different search strings for the same topic (e.g. "Beto", "beto orourke", "beto orourque") under the same umbrella. They show Beto with a huge lead in search traffic. https://bit.ly/2O5AKa7
This is completely wrong. In fact, over the past 24 hours, Beto O'Rourke has been searched for far more than the other 4 candidates combined. Most people search for "Beto" rather than "Beto O'Rourke", though. Reporters need to use how to use Google Trends properly, tbh. https://twitter.com/IsaacDovere/status/1106513509138006021
 
i know you like journalism, but what if 538 sold data journalism-as-a-service. like, people should hire your folks to make sure they make correct claims
3. When I wrote that big tech companies should pay higher taxes during the tax reform debates for the washington post, noone at Google ever contacted me. Since I wrote it, the tech policy nonprofits relationship with large tech co’s hasnt changed at all https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/news/posteverything/wp/2017/11/03/silicon-valley-ceos-dont-want-tax-cuts-their-firms-shouldnt-lobby-for-them/
2. A tech policy nonprofit i contract with has received funds from Google. Never, not once, has anyone at Google ever even suggested I or anyone I work with write something positive, let alone review an pre-vet an op-ed to make to make it more favorable.
1. This article on how Google supposedly influences political conversation impugns the integrity of me and folks I know, so let me just speak from experience https://www.wired.com/story/how-google-influences-conversation-washington/?mbid=synd_digg
The forecasted weather in London is terrible. I crave star damage! RT if you get it.
 
i love that new comic
i like this paper on the unintended consequences of plastic bag bans. i think its another reason why governments should test things out first https://twitter.com/beccataylorecon/status/1106306216173555712
I saw fantastic fungi a few months ago. Great film. gorgeous visuals of how mushrooms grow and a healthy dose of psychedelic history/research. Grateful @tferriss is spreading the word https://twitter.com/tferriss/status/1106300406555119625
Some context on @CoryBooker ‘s mixed school reform record. The Obama admin spent 70x that on education innovation and an audit shows it largely failed. Judging booker by his k-12 record is like blaming him for not inventing cold fusion: noone has answers https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/obama-administration-spent-billions-to-fix-failing-schools-and-it-didnt-work/2017/01/19/6d24ac1a-de6d-11e6-ad42-f3375f271c9c_story.html?utm_term=.df8ce5f3f437
Mixed feelings about this: Newark is convening a taskforce to explore basic income. For the amount of money in staff time this task force will cost, they could probably give 20 people a UBI, study the impact and publish better info than any committee https://twitter.com/jainfamilyinst/status/1105927169291612160
What the parents in the college bribery case did is extreme, privileged & illegal. But it's become the norm that parents should do all they can to help their adult children succeed. Parenting is more expensive, & still hands-on, when children are grown. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/13/upshot/parenting-new-norms-grown-children-extremes.html
75% of parents have reminded their grown children, ages 18-28, of deadlines they need to meet and made appointments for them. 42% give them romantic advice, 22% help them study for college tests and 16% have written all or part of their job application. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/13/upshot/parenting-new-norms-grown-children-extremes.html
 
romantic advice* *Unsolicited
@JTLonsdale has a new political organization to address social issues through technology and entrepreneurship https://twitter.com/jtlonsdale/status/1105360703232204800
2. He says texas hates austin because the city is so culturally liberal, but so many different types of people love to live here. as a result, tech companies moved in for the talent, driving huge amounts of growth for the state. Its interesting how economics follows culture
My driver is an austin resident of 53 years. He credits the creation of a city convention center and the university for the city’s growth. Politically, he’s libertarian, but likes the idea of his city spending money to make money
 
 
 
 
 
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